Mark of the Black Arrow (Robin Hood: Demon’s Bane #1) by Debbie Viguie & James R. Tuck
Publication Date: August 4th, 2015
Publisher: Titan Books
A vast darkness is spreading. If left unchecked, it will engulf the world, and so Richard the Lionheart must depart England on a holy mission. In his absence, the safety of the realm is entrusted to his brother, Prince John.
When the king departs, black sorcery begins to grip the land, threatening noble and peasant alike. Horrific creatures stalk the forests, yet the violence they commit pales when compared to the atrocities of men. A handful of rebels fight back, but are doomed to fail unless they can find a hero to lead them.
As an unabashed Robin Hood fan for as long as I can remember, I am very protective of this story. A while ago I came across this title and picked it up because it looked promising but I just couldn’t bring myself to read it for a couple years out of fear that it just wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Let me just say, this story was was EXACTLY what I had hoped it would be.
Filled with magic and myth and more than one nod to the Arthurian legend (which was a treat for me), this tale of Robin Hood was a non-stop ride that I didn’t want to end. We actually spend surprisingly little time with our title character throughout the book but I loved hearing from the many different POVs that make their way through the story. Each character drew from the original perfectly and they were all so distinct but still unique to Viguie & Tuck’s writing.
The plot had a brilliant way of building upon itself and giving you just enough information before bringing you on to the next point until everything came together in the end. Admittedly the ending was rather abrupt but the whole book is building up the pieces of a much bigger story that will continue on in the next one. There were so many details introduced in Mark of the Black Arrow that I am excited to see what will be in store next.
With a book filled with so many POVs, I was surprised that I did not feel overwhelmed. The transitions felt natural and the writing really gave each character a clear voice which is something I look for in multiple POV stories. There were a few standouts for me though in terms of just overall characters and those were Marian, Will Scarlett and, of course, Robin Hood. I’m a sucker for Team Good, ok?! Prince John and his henchman The Sheriff were wonderfully dastardly evil characters as well though!
I admit that I am a tad disappointed in myself for sitting on this book for so long but I am very happy to have FINALLY read it. The extra good news is that I can get the rest of the books in this series easily and not have to wait for release dates, haha!